Is the Sequel Worth It? “The Boy II” Review
Jordan Gablaski, Staff Writer
Starring Katie Holmes, Ralph Ineson and Owain Yeoman, “Brahms: The Boy II” is the–perhaps unnecessary– sequel to the 2015 horror “The Boy.” With an entirely new cast from the first, except for the doll of course, “The Boy II” attempts to cash in on what paranormal fans expected from the first movie, and let’s face it, does not really succeed.
The story centers on a family: Liza, Sean and their son, Jude. After a home invasion involving Liza and Jude leaves the two reeling from emotional trauma, the city slickers decide they need some time away from the hustle and bustle to try to recover. Liza suffers from nightmares and mild hallucinations, while Jude has gone mute since the night of the invasion. This poor family is going to get more than they bargained for when they decide to take an extended vacation in the cottage of a grand estate (hint: the grand estate is where the events of the last movie went down.)
On the first day at the cottage, which is nowhere near as interesting a setting as the estate, Jude stumbles across an antique porcelain doll (which is about the size of a toddler) buried in the woods. Literally, the doll’s hand is reaching out of the dirt like he’s rising from the dead, and this kid digs it up, looks at its creepy face and thinks, “cool, a new friend.” His parents express hesitation at letting their son keep the doll, but since he has been through a tough time they decide there is no harm in a new toy. Right? Because we should always keep dirty, creepy dolls that we find buried in the woods.
The doll, which tells Jude that its name is Brahms, demands more and more from the family, and is generally a creepy, unwanted presence in the house. Jude’s parents only let him keep Brahms because he has miraculously started talking again… to the doll. As Jude becomes
more and more unsettling, and the doll becomes violent, audiences are left wondering where the resolution will lie amid the muddled plot.
From here, “The Boy II” falls victim to the follies of most terrible horror films. When the characters have to act like complete idiots in order for the plot to move forward… that’s just not good writing. One or two stupid mistakes are admissible (after all, no one is perfect), but I found myself questioning nearly everything the characters decided to do. But then again, I have the luxury of knowing that they are part of a horror film.
The movie relies on the doll to unsettle audiences, and granted, that did work at times. I’ll admit, there was one jump scare where I nearly knocked the hat off of my head; I jumped so bad. But unlike the first film, where eventually the strange behavior of the characters is explained sufficiently, “The Boy II” relies on fleeting moments of shock, aversion to the freaky doll, and a rushed paranormal explanation that is nowhere near as suspenseful or mysterious as its original. Also, there was ABSOLUTELY no reason for the dog to die.
For as short as this movie is (less than 90 minutes), I still felt that parts of it dragged on, and not in a good, suspenseful way. The good news is that if you drift out a little, you would not have missed anything that makes the rest of the movie nonsensical. It’s fairly predictable, which is sad considering “The Boy” had one of the best twists I’ve seen in a recent horror movie.
Technically, you could see this movie without having seen the first one, but I don’t know why you would since the first one is much better done and features a much better twist. So, if this review has not deterred you (which, honestly, horror is not my preferred genre, so maybe I am judging too harshly), you might at least want to wait until you can rent it somewhere, rather than drop the cash to see it in theaters.
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